Not enough hours in the day? Heading to bed despite still having unfinished tasks? Still wasting time? Time is not just for figuring out when your favorite TV show will be on, and, in the world of online business, time is a precious commodity. Wasting time on unimportant tasks or rushing through tasks due to poor time management is a recipe for disaster. Whether you are in the early days of your startup or a seasoned pro, no one is immune to the distractions of life. If you’ve fallen off track, here are a few quick tips to get yourself back into the groove of time management:
Yes, you do need a to-do list.
To-do lists get a bad rap from TV shows and movies where they are often seen in the context of an overbearing spouse, boss or friend. But, do you remember when you forgot to take your grocery list to the store with you the other week and then had to go back twice for things that you forgot? Not only was it a waste of your time, but it was also a waste of gas and, subsequently, money. The same concept applies to business. Your time is money, so make sure it gets directed in the right places. Start the day off by making a to-do list of the most important objectives for the day.
Take breaks when you need them.
A lot of people seem to find taking breaks counterintuitive to being productive. Instead, people like to charge straight through task after task on productive campaigns until their to-do list is entirely completed, but this type of behavior can only hold up for so long. Eventually, exhaustion (either physical or mental) will set in and those same forward-charging people will be back at square one. Productivity is not about racing through one item after another but is instead more of a focus on pacing. Plan and allot time for the items that need doing, but remember that you are a human being and schedule in those breaks for yourself.
Don’t start the day with email.
Considering that reading and replying to emails tends to be the one of the most-hated tasks of the day, don’t make it the first task of the day. Beginning the day with a more pleasant or well-liked activity is an easy way to get yourself pumped and going for the day. Of course, if you like email, then by all means hunker down with it first thing, but if not, pick another task on your list to be the first of the day. Maintaining steam and focus can be difficult even for those who have been in the game for years. Creating daily lists, taking a few minutes a day for yourself and knocking the easy tasks out first are just a few simple ways to get yourself right back on track.